I had to go to Time Warner Cable, the company not the mall this morning. My remote had seen its last show. Everybody knows the address is 123 East 29th Street, but I wrote it down and inverted the three and nine. Sort of on purpose as I used to work on East 28th Street off Madison and watched it go from a bit middle class to welfare hotel horrible.
My fiancee and I, one I hardly ever talk about, would stay after work–he made his own hours, take some pot from his pot drawer, sit on the fire escape–this wasn’t a high class office though the company had pretensions of being one and watch the world. Little kids would run onto cars at midnight. It was scary to see things go so out of control.
I managed large legal projects but the do gooder in me was returning and within a few years I would work for SSI as I felt so much part of the problem.
I loved New York passionately in the 80’s, but you couldn’t give a loft on Fifth and 18th Street away. I knew a clothing manufacturer that tried and ended up walking away from their lease. The East 20’s were a thing of gore.
We would go to a Spanish restaurant down the block, Mesa de Espana, that looked like New York as I imagine it was in the 40’s and 50’s. It still looks the same. My fiancee had much money. It was strange to work in that gross office–my father offered to pay me to quit after my parents came over–and yet live a life looking at the street scene and going to great restaurants five nights a week. The many computers in our office would all be lit and it was so beautiful in its weird industrial tenement beauty. The building’s still there. Not even power cleaned.
Couldn’t find Time Warner Cable on East 29th Street or East 23rd Street. Saw many white washed buildings, but somehow the neighborhood still looked a bit derelict. Felt like a homing pigeon circling a six block radius. Called information:
Time Warner Cable, what’s that?
I restrained from all the obvious come-backs which was every line I could think of.
Oh I see, it’s a cable company. 123 East 29th Street.
Only once again it wasn’t there. I went into the optician next door and asked. I speak flawless English. It’s a trick I picked up from having been born here. I could tell the opticians were American but somehow they decided to shrug.
I’m sorry. I don’t speak shrugs.
On the next block and to the left.
Sow I walked up to the next block and turned to the street on the left. Wasn’t there. Asked a Fed Ex man. He gave me the exact street address and said it was the next block uptown or to the right.
I was nervous about exchanging remotes. I have never had a pleasant experience with Time Warner Cable but had no need to call them in the past two or more years. I expected an inquisition.
The person at the door asked why I was there. I explained.
“just get on the payment line, please and you can exchange your remote.”
One minute later a man took my remote, threw it somewhere and gave me a new one. Apparently all the early DVR adapters remotes have gone at once.
Then I spent the day trying to write at Starbucks but people kept interrupting and wanted to know if Mac laptops are really better.
I came home to a pleasant mess. My apartment really will be on the market by the beginning of the new year. Found out people in my building are talking. They expect it to go faster than the other apartments on the market or that have been on the market this past year. It’s a beautiful little apartment and they’re applying the same reasoning I am. People who were going to spend a fortune on a one bedroom will spend less than a fortune but more than….on my showered with love and building help three rooms, though we’re all still searching for the third room.
I have to remember that all that goes wrong with the world, my remote, or even my coop isn’t always my fault. It feels so strange to be reaching the almost there stage.
I’m leaving my world and that does feel weird, but I think I’m already coming back for a Levon Helm concert at The Beacon. My sister hopes it’s still my apartment so she can stay over. Living two blocks from The Beacon is something I will always remember with much fondness. Nothing like leaving a concert and not have to even think about getting home.